Coastwatch Micro litter App

Micro litter like plastic pellets, polystyrene beads, plastic fibres and paint flakes are ingested and harmful to marine life and us as consumers of fish and shellfish. This app is used to record micro litter types, sources and location.

It can be used on any mobile device that has a web browser without downloading anything. You can also find in Google Play and the iTunes App Store as Survey123 for ArcGIS. Find out more clicking the button below.

The aim is to capture photo, location, time information of marine micro litter in harbours, sea and shore. We need more information and awareness to tackle micro litter – e.g. early alerts of ‘nurdles’, hard plastic pellets in an area helps identify the origin of a spill; awareness of micro litter when carrying out an activity like scraping paint helps improve practice.

Themes: Micro litter / Marine Litter / Coastwatch Autumn Survey (question E4)

Platforms: All platforms


The EyeOnWater App

Scientists have been measuring  ocean water colour in marine waters  using the Forel-Ule scale  (which this app incorporates and what you will be mesuring) for more than 200 years as indication of plankton in open waters. In coastal waters and stream mouth where you do the Coastwatch survey the water colour is often more indicative of the sediment and bits of algae carried by the water.   Best use of the app here is:

- from a pier with deep water, where you want to record that beautiful blue sea

- when you come across an unusual colour to record - like a  sediment plume coming from a dredger or other source at sea, or discoloration from an outfall into the sea, or a ‘red tide’ when certain marine plankton species turn water red (these can be associated with shellfish toxins and are therefore important to report directly to the Marine Institute or Coastwatch  too) Read more in guide notes.

Themes: Water colour / Water Transparency / Algae

Platforms: Android and iPhone


The PlantTracker App

This app is used to track Invasive Plant Species. Help to combat the spread of invasive, non-native plant species by knowing them, being careful not to spread them yourself, reporting their locations and where appropriate helping eradication.

PlantTracker helps you identify IAS plants, record their position and how much is present. Once you’ve entered the required details the app submits the data directly to the national database where it’s verified by experts and then put up on the maps you can see.

Themes: Invasive Alien Species / Plants / Non-Native Species

Platforms: Android and iPhone


The River Obstacles App

This app is used to capture any obstacles in the mouth of your inflow, when you do the autumn survey or any time you are on a stream or river. Obstacles could be:

  • A long dark culvert at the mouth of a little stream.
  • A round pipe culvert, which makes water pass through in a ‘laminar flow’ which fish trying to swim up-stream find really difficult to negotiate
  • A stream ending in waterfall down a sea cliff, or a cement step, so only acrobatic fish like eels might slither up if there is a nice mossy side.

The information received is checked and then uploaded to identify and locate the obstacles. Then these can be removed or at least made less of a problem by sometimes simple improvements. The data does not go to Coastwatch, but in Ireland to PhD student Siobhan Atkinson. So if you would like to contact her, leave a note at the end of your app record. App users can see which obstacles have already been identified in their area and their record.

Themes: Rivers / Obstacle Removal / Fish

Platforms: Android and iPhone